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Updates on Facebook's Top Lawyers

In a post here Tuesday about the new top lawyer at social-networking site Facebook, Theodore W. Ullyot, I noted that some unhappy Facebook users had responded to the news by creating a Facebook group with the unwelcoming name, Demand that Facebook General Counsel Ullyot Resign. The group's description, I further noted, complained that "Ullyot helped to write the infamous 'torture memo' that justified criminal practices on behalf of the Bush administration" and that he was associated "with some of the most dangerous and illegal scandals of the Bush administration." My reporting of the group's accusation was not meant to be an endorsement of its truth. However, I received an e-mail from a lawyer in Washington, D.C., who said that the allegation is not only false but chronologically impossible. He wrote:

Sadly, some folks have been spreading the myth that Ted "helped to write the infamous torture memo."  It simply isn't true.  The memo was authored by Gonzales in January 2002.  Ullyot didn't join the government until January 2003.  The story appears to have originated on Valleywag, which first accused Ullyot of having helped write the memo.  After being confronted with the little start date problem, Valleywag has now toned down its claim to this, which still blames Ullyot for not objecting to a memo so classified that he probably had no idea it even existed until it was mentioned in the media. Valleywag and others move on.  Facebook and Ullyot get stuck with the smear. Welcome to Silicon Valley, eh?

Meanwhile, there is news about Facebook's former GC, Rudy Gadre. As reported yesterday, it was Gadre's departure that resulted in the job-search feeding frenzy that landed Ullyot his new gig -- what one legal recruiter described as one of the most competitive searches he had ever handled, with hundreds of high-level lawyers sending in resumes. Why would someone leave such a plum post?

Reporter Zusha Elinson tried to track down Gadre -- who was said to have moved to Seattle to spend more time with his family -- but heard nothing back from him. Now he has been found. Caroline McCarthy at CNET's blog the social reports that Gadre has joined Seattle startup Evri as vice president of business operations, where he will be in charge of legal issues, IP and various marketing and "audience building" tasks. Evri's aim is to map the connections among information on the Web to help users find more relevant content.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on October 2, 2008 at 05:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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